Thursday, April 05, 2012
Classic card of the week
Jack Clark, 1987 Topps
Normally I like to make fun of my old cards. After all, that is what I get not paid to do. But today I am here to tell you: this is a pretty darn cool card.
It’s got action, dashing good looks, eye black, suspense, dirt, an unbelievable head of hair … all the things I look for in a great baseball card. There’s also this: check out the peeps in foul territory. Media? Maybe. One guy’s got a tripod. Other dudes are just sort of hanging out, watching the game. How is that a thing that used to happen? I don’t think the guy in the white shirt has the reflexes to get out of the way of a hard-hit foul ball, but he doesn’t seem to care. Man … the 80s. Sit wherever you want! Here’s some cocaine. Enjoy the game. Try not to die.
As for Clark himself, I enjoyed this tidbit from that source of all that is good and right, Wikipedia:
But Clark hated the Giants' Candlestick Park, a notoriously bad park for power hitters because of the wind coming off of the San Francisco Bay. He won the first Willie Mac Award in 1980 for his spirit and leadership.
“Thank you for acknowledging my leadership and generally positive spirit. I hate this place and also, I hate wind. If the wind blows away my leadership award, I am going to be super pissed. (Waits for applause.)”
In 1987, Clark finished third in the NL MVP voting. I admit, I am quite fascinated by the ’87 NL MVP situation. Andre Dawson won, even though his Cubs were terrible, by hitting 49 home runs and driving in 137, which is, obviously, awesome. However, his OBP was .328. .328! How does someone hit 49 home runs with an OBP of .328?! That is like trying not to get on base. Meanwhile, Ozzie Smith finished second with a surface stat line of .303/0/75. In 1987 Ozzie Smith hit zero home runs and drove in 75, which seems impossible. (For reference, in 2006 Bill Hall hit 35 home runs and drove in 85.) Smith also posted a 7.1 WAR thanks almost entirely to defense. Dawson’s WAR was 2.7. The 4.4 difference between the two is more than the WAR of the fourth place finisher, Tim Wallach (4.2). Meanwhile, Clark, with a 6.5 WAR, reached base at a ridiculous and league-leading .459 clip, and posted the only 1.000-plus OPS. Jack Clark walked 104 more times than Dawson.
I realize things just got a bit nerdy and baseball-y and not very funny. To make up for that, here is a clip in which Jack Clark accuses members of the 2010 St. Louis Cardinals of pooping in their pants.
Ha ha ... poop. That was fun. Here’s more from Wiki:
Clark was driven into bankruptcy in 1992 by his appetite for luxury cars. According to his bankruptcy filing, he owned 18 luxury automobiles, including a $700,000 Ferrari and a Rolls Royce. Clark was trying to pay 17 car notes simultaneously, and whenever he got bored with a car he would get rid of it and just buy another one. He ended up losing his 2.4 million-dollar home and his drag-racing business because of his extravagant spending habits.
Even the 1-percent is like, “Get a grip on yourself, Jack Clark!” To expand on the theme of extravagance, I would pay $50 to watch a Lifetime movie about Jack Clark starring a very overweight Alec Baldwin titled, “Appetite for Luxury.” In one scene, Clark/Baldwin is driving down the road in a Rolls Royce. He then yawns, says, “This bores me,” puts the car in neutral, gets out, and pushes it off a cliff with his foot. Then he walks to the nearby dealership and buys a different car and accuses the car salesman of pooping his pants. I don’t see how this doesn’t become the greatest movie ever made.
Did you know?
Mitt Romney once said, "When a poor person gets bored with a car, he doesn't care, because it was only a dream. He doesn't actually have a car."